The tradition of The Noontimes began with my mother’s Bible; it was the one she bought to study theology when she was learning to be a catechist to teenagers.
Mother died in 1997 and her Bible passed along to me. It is tattered and worn, evidence that it has survived many little and big crises, including a Florida tornado. It is presently being refurbished so for now I open other Bibles at noon, but I never doubt that Mother is just over my shoulder as I turn the pages . . . no matter which Bible I take down from the shelf.
Because she is so close to the Noontime Circle, allow me to introduce to you my mother and her sisters . . .
- 1938 Gertrude Hassler Barbour (left) with her sisters: Rose, Betty, Kathryn, Mary and Peggy
My mother was always close to her sisters, brother, and both her parents; Dad was the oldest of eleven and despite the size of his family – or perhaps because of it – he valued the time he spent with them. This closeness was a tradition that Mother and Dad recreated and nurtured in their own family.
Dad's Country Family
Vacations and summers were usually spent with family. Cousins were best friends; aunts and uncles became wise confidants. Pinochle was the game of choice in Mother’s family; sharing stories, singing favorite songs, and laughing were favorite pastimes with Dad’s.
We knew a holiday was coming when we were small because Mother would pack suitcases while Dad readied the car. Because the ride to visit grandparents was so long, we children would have baths, put on pajamas and bundle into the back seat. Dad would drive through the night and we would wake up just as the car pulled into the driveway of our country grandparents’ farm; or we would arrive at our city grandparents’ home in time for snack and bed.
Mother's City Family Home
No matter the occasion, family members put any disagreement aside to spend time with those they loved best. And the reward for this tolerance, fidelity and patience was that we never felt alone, never felt rejected, and always felt loved. There were so many of us, there was always someone with a willing ear and open heart.
June 20, 1936 - Mother and Dad with their Best Man, Dad's brother Les, and Maid of Honor, Mother's best friend Eleanor
Watch this page for more
family photos as we
journey with The Noontimes.